SKELMANTHORPE’S Indian all-rounder Anirudh Singh has the potential to be the most exciting overseas player in the Drakes League this season.
The 27-year-old formerly played with Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy, with whom he played 41 first-class matches, and went on to the skipper the side who included Indian Test star VVS Laxman – who batted at No4 behind Singh.
However, in 2007 Singh went to play in the breakaway Indian Cricket League with Hyderabad Heroes, with whom he won the ICL’s Edelweiss 20s Challenge last season, beating Lahore Badshahs 2-0 in the final under skipper Chris Harris with Justin Kemp and Nicky Boje as teammates.
While at Hyderabad he also played alongside Pragyan Ohja, who had a short spell at Slaithwaite last season, before being called into the Indian train-on squad. And it was through their association that Singh (via Slaithwaite’s Chris Payne) ended up at Lidgett Lane.
Singh is no stranger to the UK, having played with Benwell & Walbottle CC in the Northumberland League for the last two seasons, and prior to that was at Coleraine in Northern Ireland for three years.
“My first impressions are that the grounds in Huddersfield are smaller but the standard is higher here than in Northumberland,” said Singh, who has been accompanied to Skelmanthorpe by his wife.
“We are living in the village, and I’m very pleased to be here. Everyone has made me very welcome and I’m looking forward to doing well this season.”
The chances are Ojha, Singh and Payne could be reunited soon, as Ojha, is back in England shortly after being picked for the Indian squad for next month’s Twenty/20 World Championship.